The group around Hideo HOSONO at Tokyo Institute of Technology has succeeded to further optimize a catalyst which permits to produce ammonia from molecular nitrogen and hydrogen at relatively mild conditions (400 C, 0.1 MPa = 1 bar). The best catalyst found so far is an intermetallic “electride” compound composed of lanthanum, cobalt and silicium which activates N2 to form an NH intermediate. This technology is commercially developed at Tsubame BHB, https://tsubame-bhb.co.jp/en/, a company focused on developing technology for the distributed production of ammonia in local and small plants. Partners of Tsubame BHB are Ajinomoto and UMI Co., a venture company focused on chemical engineering.

JST news release, January 23, 2019